Failure to Comply With Sex Offender Registration
After an allegation of a sex offense, even an innocent person might decide to enter a plea deal to avoid any chance of a harsher sentence after a guilty verdict. When accepting that plea deal, few can imagine how burdensome it will be to comply with the sex offender registration requirements.
The requirements for sex offenders in Texas often have a "gotcha" effect. One wrong move could lead to a felony charge of failing to comply with the sex offender registration requirements.
Attorneys in Plano, TX, for Failure to Comply with Registration Requirements
The attorneys at Stuckle & Associates PLLC represent clients charged with a variety of serious sexual offenses and related charges, including the criminal offense of Failing to Comply with Sex Offender Registration Requirements. We represent clients prosecuted throughout the greater Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, including Plano, Dallas, McKinney, Fort Worth, Frisco, Garland, Irving, Lewisville and nearby North Texas communities.
Call us to discuss your case and possible defenses to the charges. Let us put our experience to work for you.
Elements of Failure to Comply with Sex Offender Registration Requirements
For charges of failing to comply with registration requirements that occurred on or after Sept. 1, 2013, the prosecutor must prove the following elements of the offense beyond all reasonable doubt:
- Defendant is required by law to register under the Sex Offender Registration Program
- Defendant acted intentionally or knowingly by failing to report to the local law enforcement authority with whom defendant is required to register under the sex offender registration program
- Defendant did have a reportable conviction or adjudication
- Defendant's duty to register had not expired under Article 62.101(A) of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure
- Defendant failed to report in person to the local law enforcement authority in the municipality or county in which the person's new residence is located not later than the later of the seventh day after changing the address or the first date the applicable local law enforcement authority by policy allows the person to report and provide the authority with proof of identity and proof of residence
- Defendant failed to provide law enforcement authority within that municipality with the defendant's new address, proof of identify, or proof of residence not later than seven days after changing his address to a location within said municipality
A person commits the offense of Failure to Comply with Registration Requirements if he or she is required to register and fails to comply with any requirement.
Penalties for the Failure to Register as a Sex Offender
Texas law dictates when a person is required to register as a sex offender and how long that requirement will last. The level of offense committed if a person does not comply with the reporting requirement is determined by looking at the length of the reporting requirement. See Tex.Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 62.102(b)(1) (Vernon 2006). The following penalties apply:
- The crime is a state jail felony if the person has a 10-year reporting requirement
- The crime is a third-degree felony if the person has a lifetime annual reporting requirement, or
- The crime is a second-degree felony if the person has a lifetime reporting requirement and must report every 90 days
Each level represents a different criminal charge as opposed to a sentencing enhancement.
The Duty to Register as a Sex Offender in Texas
Under Article 62.101(a) of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, depending on the type of conviction, the duty to register for a person ends when either:
- The person dies, or
- On the 10th anniversary of the date on which the disposition is made or the person completes the terms of the disposition, whichever date is later, or
- On the 10th anniversary of the date on which the court dismisses the criminal proceedings against the person and discharges the person, the person is released from a penal institution, or the person discharges community supervision, whichever date is later
Definitions under Terms Used for Sex Offender Reporting Requirements
The term “local law enforcement authority” means the chief of police of a municipality or the sheriff of a county in the State of Texas.
The term “reportable conviction” means a conviction for the underlying alleged offense.
Statute of Limitations for Failure to Register
Although the prosecutor for the State of Texas is not required to prove the exact date alleged in the indictment, the prosecutor must prove the offense was committed at any time prior to the presentment of the indictment so long as the offense occurred within three years of the date of the presentment of the indictment.
For the purposes of determining the three-year period, the date the indictment was presented and the day of the offense are not be computed within the three-year limitation period.
Texas Sex Offender Registry — Pursuant to Tthe exas Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 62.005, the Department of Public Safety created a website to help the public search the Texas Public Sex Offender Registry to find sex offenders registered in Texas by name, address, zip code, or county. Also, the Department of Public Safety's notification system allows the public to subscribe to e-mail notifications regarding database changes relating to registered sex offenders. Learn more about how Texas sex offenses are tiered under the Federal Adam Walsh Act.
Texas Sex Offender Registration Program — Under Chapter 62 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the sex offender registration program in Texas is designed to protect the public from sex offenders. The program requires adult and juvenile sex offenders to register with the local law enforcement authority of the city they reside in or, if the sex offender does not reside in a city, with the local law enforcement authority of the county they reside in. The sex offender must provide his or her name, address, a color photograph, and the offense the offender was convicted of or adjudicated for. Registered sex offenders are required to periodically report and update the information.
The Statute in Texas for Sex Offender Registration — Visit the website of the Texas Legislature to find the statutory language for the Code of Criminal Procedure, Title 1. Chapter 62, for the Sex Offender Registration Program, including definitions, punishments and penalties.
Stuckle & Associates PLLC ǀ Attorney for Failing to Comply with Sex Offender Registration Requirements
If you were charged with the serious criminal offense of Failing to Comply with Registration Requirements, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Stuckle & Associates PLLC. We also represent clients for violations of a civil commitment order of a sexually violent predator (often called "Failure to Comply with Civil Commitment Requirements — 841.085 HSC").
During an initial consultation with our attorneys, we can discuss possible defenses to the charges and ways to avoid the typical penalties. Call us at (972) 423-4405 today.